If you have visited Monteverde, you already know a few things that are constant aspects of life for CFS students and staff members. Rain might be the first thing that comes to your mind—but even then, we have a dry season (thank goodness!). Fresh, hot coffee is another, followed by heaping plates of gallo pinto. Competing for a top spot on the list is fútbol. Soccer is a ubiquitous aspect of Monteverde life, the constant go-to pastime for CFS students and staff of all ages and backgrounds. Soccer games start up on the Meadow every day during morning recess, lunch recess, and during any available free time. At the drop of a hat, suddenly someone has a ball, teams are divvied up, and the game is on.
The fact that our “official” playing field continued to be known as “the Meadow” has always been a bit of a joke, considering that it’s alternately been a mud or dust pit (depending on the weather) for years, and never a field of soft green grass as the name implies. A combination of cloud forest shade and twice-daily pick-up games proved that plant growth never really stood much of a chance on the Meadow. Like an over-loved teddy bear with the fur rubbed off, the Meadow was ugly, dirty, bald and unconditionally loved.
And so for years, the fútbol-fanatics of the Cloud Forest School community have done what we perhaps do best—made do with what’s available, and had a great time regardless of logistical hiccups, a lack of supplies, language barriers or inclimate weather. I’ve seen our kids playing soccer during recess on a mud field, in the rain, with a half-inflated basketball—and I know I’m not the only one to have seen this. Our kids will have a 5 v 5 game in that tiny space between the see-saw and fence on the playground, on the concrete basketball court, in classrooms, or on practically any other moderately flat surface with a suggestion of being somewhat rectangular.
Until now, that is. Thanks to the generous donation of a used astro-turf from Don Jorge Donato and the hard work and donations of many volunteers and community members, our circumstances have drastically changed. Miracle of all miracles, our little mountaintop school finally has a legitimate soccer field for the first time in its twenty-year history. So eager were we to put this donation to good use that the construction for the new field was completed within a week and is already being enjoyed by students and staff daily. All are ecstatic at this vast improvement to our campus as a place to come together and enjoy a daily mejenga (pick-up game). This vast improvement to the Meadow—a place cherished by all—has put a new spring in the step of our die-hard futbolistas and their fans, that is to say—all of us!